Editorial : Archive Last Updated: Saturday, 06 September 2008 - 5:45 PM

Life Requires More Than Material Trappings
By Baruti KMT
Sunday, 31 December 2006 - 12:00 PM

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Life. What is this thing called LIFE? Webster presents various components for its offered definition. However, my favorite has to be "spiritual existence transcending physical death."

Just think for a moment. If such an offering can be believed, then logically, we are comprised of far more than our physical, finite manifestation. That being the case, why then do we spend the majority of our time in the pursuit for the "material" instead of balancing the focus in terms of the "spiritual?"

More often than not, we seek to please our physical/finite manifestation at all costs. Such a sentiment reveals itself when the majority of our time is spent in the quest of "material" manifestations of THE ALL. Let that percolate for a moment.

For instance, we will, by hook or crook, seek to purchase the "phattest" cars, the best clothes, and have the most attractive woman or man on our arm; while ignoring the spiritual side that is in all actuality the guiding force of all things - seen or unseen.

I must state at this juncture, that I am not a "religious zealot", nor am I one who holds the idea that everyone should believe as I do. However, I do believe that for "successful" completion of this phase of the journey we call life, critical analysis is essential. For without asking the fundamental question WHY?, we cannot begin to understand the reasons for our existence.

In addition, I would not also urge that we become monks or nuns, some may; however, I will assert that we should search for the middle ground. Such an endeavor ultimately provides balance in one's life. Just as you cannot have up without down, left without right, wet without dry, or male without female (although some may beg to differ), it would then logically follow that you cannot have material without spiritual. Such an understanding is simple when attention is given to the thoughts that rage inside the "you" that is often ignored.

If you have yet to figure out what I am attempting to say, let me spell it out for you. It's about CHOICES people. Not so much of choosing one over the other, for they are both complimentary, but choosing to focus on both simultaneously. Thereby providing the framework for a "successful" finite existence.

At some point, it must be realized that while the spiritual serves as the guiding force for all, we do have the opportunity to exercise choice. When the realization is reached that the choices made are the result of our response to environmental stimuli, the act of then rethinking our particular positions can begin. This is what my brother calls a "teachable moment." For without this elementary process, we cannot begin to traverse the path toward understanding.

In the finite manifestation of this thing called life, we must remember that, as we quest for material possessions, we should also balance our search with that of enlightenment. One litmus test that could be done to determine how successful your journey was, is to ask yourself if you would do it all over again. All the while realizing, that all that you have gone through has served as building blocks for what you have become.

Column originally published in Signal (Georgia State University's student newspaper) 12 November 1996

© Copyright 2006 by Radical Scholar, Inc.

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